Malta Visas, Work Permits and Migration
Expanding into a country or hiring a workforce abroad can lead your business to great profits, but unfamiliar laws and regulations can counteract your company’s goals and plans. Companies targeting Malta for their next global move face unravelling the red tape surrounding work permit, visa, and immigration laws if they intend moving existing staff into their new territory.
What Types of Work Visas, and Permits for Malta are there?
Citizens from the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) and European Free Trade Association (EFTA) do not require an entry visa or permission to work in Malta although, regardless of the purpose or length of stay, they must register with the Department for Citizenship and Expatriate Affairs within three months of arrival.
Documentation to Work in Malta:
- Employment License
- National D Visa
- Residence Permit
- Employment License: This is required by all Third Country Nationals (TCNs) to live and work in Malta – with a few exceptions but typically not applying to most employees; this license, previously known as the Work Permit in some cases is still referred to as such. It is applied for by the prospective employer before the employee enters the country. It is attached to one employer and for one job and is non-transferable and for one year, renewable annually.
NOTE: As of March 2021, those foreigners / TCNs who have long residence status i.e., residing in Malta for a period of five years, do not require to apply for an Employment License. Legal Notice No.84 2021. EU Directive 2003/109/EC.
Short-Stay Visa, or C Visa allows foreigners to enter and travel within the Schengen area. Single, double, or multiple entries visas can be applied for with validity of one, three or five years. Holders can stay for up to three months in any 180-day period.
National Long-Stay Visa, or D Visa is needed by foreign employees to live and work in Malta for an extended period and is also necessary for those traveling to study. This is the visa they will need to apply for to enter Malta.
The Single Permit is a joint Employment License and Residence Permit and is now known as a ‘Maltese e-Residence Card’. This is handled through Identity Malta alongside Jobsplus, who will run a labor market test to confirm the position has been offered to EU and Maltese citizens first. A valid visa is needed to apply for the permit if the applicant is in Malta.
Generally, employees apply from outside Malta through a local embassy or consulate in their home country. In this case the employer will apply for the Single Permit through Identity Malta and if approved will receive the authorization. Please note:
- An employment contract is required
- It can take two to three months
- E-Residence Card is connected to one employer and one position and is not transferable. Duration of one year – renewable
- Employee will need to submit documentation
The Key Employee Initiative (KEI) allows highly specialized Third Country Nationals (TCNs) to work in Malta as managerial staff or high positioned technicians. KEI can also cover entrepreneurs and start-up schemes that have been officially recognized by Malta Enterprise. The application is for a Single Permit which includes the Employment License and Residence Permit but provides a fast-track route into Malta.
- An employment contract is needed
- It can take five working days
- A gross salary over €30,000 (US$34,346) per annum has been offered
- Applicants must complete Form C5 with all the relevant documents.
- Employment license is part of the Single Permit application and needs to be endorsed by the employer. This will be an internal arrangement between Jobsplus and Malta Identity
- Applicants will need to be qualified for the position
- Declaration by employer the qualifications of applicant fit duties assigned
The EU Blue Card is dependent on applicants’ skill level and educational qualifications. It is available to TCNs who have applied for a highly skilled position – also:
- There is an employment contract
- Employer applies for an employment license
- Been offered a salary one and a half times the average in Malta
- Been accepted after labor market testing
- Have the required qualifying certificates and experience